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State Superintendent Mark Johnson announces steps to reduce testing for students in North Carolina

The following is a press release from North Carolina Public Schools

Making good on the promise he made when he entered office, State Superintendent Mark Johnson today announced initiatives to reduce the testing currently required for students in North Carolina’s public schools. The steps come after getting feedback from parents and teachers. Recent surveys showed a high percentage feel that students are taking too many tests. These steps are in addition to changes that have already been taken over the last two years by Johnson.

“New, personalized learning technology allows teachers to get the information they need about students’ progress without high-stakes testing,” Johnson said. “We will be working with local superintendents and state leaders to reform the system of over-testing. That way, we can give the teachers the time to do what they entered the profession to do: teach.”

Steps that will be taken this year include:

  • Reducing the number of questions on tests
  • Reducing the time students must sit for tests
  • Changing testing policies to reduce the stress at schools around testing time
  • Working with local leaders to reduce the number of locally required tests
  • Pushing to eliminate tests not required by Washington, D.C.
  • Giving students other ways to show progress if they have a bad test day
  • Using the appropriate amount of technology as a tool for students and teachers to personalize learning and eliminate tests

More than 42,000 parents responded to the survey on testing. Of those who responded, 78 percent said their child takes too many tests. In addition, when teachers were asked what they thought of standardized testing, 76 percent said that North Carolina’s public school students were being tested too much.

Under Johnson’s leadership, changes have already been implemented. They include eliminating field tests and the burdensome Analysis of Student Work portfolios, as well as working with other education leaders to drop tests not required by state or federal law.

“We are just getting started reforming testing in North Carolina’s public schools,” Johnson said. “The changes I am announcing today will be a major step in reducing outdated testing methods to measure students’ progress, and the future is bright for North Carolina’s public schools.”


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.